Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Food, Some Medical, and Some Running

I really appreciate the support I received in regard to my cupcake habit and my corresponding Buddha Belly. My husband kindly pointed out that it probably wasn't just the cupcakes that were causing me problems. He reminded me of my other loves: Haribo Twin Cherries, loaded baked potatoes, pastry of any kind, chocolate milkshakes from AJs Diner, and Grande Lattes with 7 sugars. Okay, just writing all of that out makes me both sick and ravenous at the same time!

Part of the reason I am on a food rant, is that I leave first thing tomorrow for a 5 day stay in Scottsdale for a visit to the Mayo Clinic. I'm having a full-body check-up - yikes! I start tomorrow with a full blood panel, then head over to Cardiology where I am having every ECG, EKG, etc. known to man. I'm in Cardiology for 2 days, then I mosey over to Gastroenterology where I have a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. Tons of fun. I wind up on Friday with a consult to explain everything to me! So, with all of this looming, I am required to start fasting in 35 minutes. Which of course means I am starving. For super fattening foods - which I can't have in my "last meal." I'd hate to screw up my lab work just because I can't resist the frosted lemon bundt cake sitting on my counter! :)

On to more interesting, and actual running-related, information. The Badwater entrants list has been posted, and what a race it is going to be! Woohoo! I can't wait to follow it. First up, is Jamie Donaldson. Now, as I have mentioned in other posts, Jamie rocks! She is a super talented runner and super nice person - a definite winning combo! I think she has the potential to win the race OUTRIGHT. Another favorite is Dean Karnazes. Now, I know, I know. A lot of people don't like him, but I think he is a really nice guy, so I'm rooting for him too. Two others to watch are David Goggins (need I say more), and Akos Konya (need I say more). I'm sure there are other great contenders, but these are my favorite four. I'm just fascinated by Badwater, the distance, the heat, the mental elements. What a challenge. I hope to run it someday, but probably not in the near future.

I had a pretty good week. I ended up with 120 miles, including a couple of tempo runs and some hill workouts. I made it into the gym 3 times and did Pilates 5 days. I didn't do much crosstraining other than walking. I really want to make it to the pool some, but ...well, you know the excuses. I hope to get a decent amount of running in while I'm in Phoenix, but I don't know exactly what they have in store for me. I'm just going to play it by ear.

Hope y'all have a great week and I'll see ya on the flip side!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do You Think It's the Cupcakes?

Okay, my mileage is finally back up. I'm lifting. I'm doing Pilates and core work. I'm working it, doggone it! And I still have a Buddha Belly! What's up with that?!

Ever since carrying two people around in me for 9 months, I have had trouble with the Belly. But after taking almost a month off after Ultracentric (and it was the holidays!), the Belly has wanted more attention. It sticks out, demanding that I look at it even when it is covered up! It refuses to comply with the "low-rise" jeans ordinance that says you cannot wear said type of jeans if anything shows over the waistband. It mocks the slinky new dress I bought for a party, saying, "If you think I won't make an appearance under that thing, you better be thinking about a girdle." A girdle! Do they even make girdles anymore?

As I mentioned, I have dutifully returned to my favorite high-mileage running routine. I have dutifully done my "extras" - abs, Pilates, etc. BUT IT WON'T GO AWAY! The rest of me is tight, fit, like a long-distance runner should be. But my watches Larry the Cable Guy and aspires to be just like his.

So, after much careful consideration and analysis (okay, not much really), I have decided that it must be my beloved Slammin' Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing. You know which ones I am talking about - the ones from my favorite little cupcakery right up the street. The ones I must get once a week just so I can lick a little frosting off the top before breaking them in half and redistributing the rest. The ones I Can't Live Without!

Hmmm. Maybe I could just cut them down to once a month. Do you think then the Belly would go on vacation?

Monday, February 18, 2008

That Funky Funk

Because of my lingering cold, I spent much of last week running - and grumbling about it. I didn't think it was such a good idea to post 'cause I didn't want to start a negative vibe virus :) We seemed to have passed that respiratory virus around good! I finally had a decent long run yesterday which made me feel much better today! Negative vibe gone!

I wanted to do 20 this morning, but most of my running group went to the Austin Marathon over the weekend, so I was on my own. I dutifully set my alarm for 5:00 am, fully intending to get in 10 miles before I had to take my kids to school. But with no one waiting for me (and a brief period of wakefulness in the middle of the night which allowed me to watch "Dead Like Me," "Friends," and "Three's Company,") I opted to sleep in. After getting Grant and Spencer off to school, I headed out for my run. I planned to run two 10 mile loops so that I could stop back at the house to get water and something to eat between loops. The first loop went fine, I stayed to the canals initially and then started heading up the mountain. I made it home right at 10 miles, grabbed some water and strawberries and decided a new route was needed for the second 10 mile loop. I was hungry and wanting some stimulation.

To make the second loop interesting, I decided to go on an "urban adventure" run and headed up one of the main roads out of the valley. It is very commercial, which means tons of traffic, but also very busy so there is lots to look at. I made myself a deal: I would run 5 miles up the road and stop at whichever restaurant was closest for a something to eat and then head back. At 5 miles I ended up exactly between Burger King and Taco Bell. Hmm. I went for a bean burrito at Taco Bell, figuring that Burger King was probably not the best option (I had secretly hoped for El Pollo Loco, but it was at mile 3.5 - bummer). I read somewhere that it was a good idea to "practice" eating and running, so that was my justification for scarfing down the whole burrito and a Sierra Mist. I have never been able to eat much "real food" in an ultra, so I'm not sure what I was practicing, but it sure tasted good!

I got home, happy to have finished the 20, happy to be breathing easily, and happy that I got to do something different today. I don't know about y'all, but I find myself running many of the same routes over and over just out of habit. Today's run reminded me that I need to get out of my box once in awhile. Because I really enjoy the small loop format of 24 Hour races, I tend to train in the same format. This does not lead to very exciting routes :) Maybe that has had something to do with my funk last week. Whatever it was, illness, boredom, my astrological sign out of whack, I'm glad it's gone :)

Happy running!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cooties - Ack!

Okay, so I got a little cocky, had a cough and ignored it for a week, and...well, you guessed the rest. I was down for the count all weekend. I went to bed Friday at 7:45 and stayed there until Sunday evening at 5:00 when I roused myself out of bed to go out to dinner when my husband threatened to feed my kids Ding Dongs for dinner (for the second time). My time in bed was uneventful, but you weren't kidding, Ronda, t.v. is terrible. I kept turning it off because I thought that might be what was making me feel so lousy :) But no, I had the full-on respiratory thing going. Hack, hack, snort, snort. Everyone in the house avoiding me. My kids calling me Typhoid Mary. It was not pretty.

Finally, this morning I felt almost human, but I was afraid to tempt fate, so I didn't get up to run. I still have a little lingering congestion and I don't want it to turn into something requiring antibiotics, so I am trying to be patient (he he). I hope to resume running tomorrow, but I will take another day if necessary to make sure I kick this thing.

So, based on the above description, I have no running (or weight lifting, or Pilates, or anything else physical) to report. But if anyone is interested, I did watch the entire third season of Weeds on Showtime On Demand yesterday (I had missed the second season, so I had a little catching up to do). I also read much of Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" (pretty interesting - didn't really care for "The Power of Now"), started "The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead," by David Shields (so far, so good), and watched most of Fred MacMurray in "The Absent Minded Professor" before I fell asleep for one of many naps. I tried to follow the latest in the presidential candidate news, but fell asleep again, and when I awoke, found that my husband had brought me four slammin' chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing from my favorite cupcake store. When faced with the choice of politics or cupcakes, I had to choose cupcakes :)

Based on reading my some of my favorite bloggers, I've seen that many of you are sick, too. I'm really sorry! It is a total drag, but better now than later. We've got some running to do!

Stay well!

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Now that I finally have a race schedule for the first half of the year, I feel like it's time to get into the training groove. Even though I'm not so hot with details, I'm pretty obsessive/compulsive with the amount of training I do (it's the format of the training that is a little vague for Scott's tastes:). So, I'm getting focused on Ruth Anderson 100k and realizing that I better get a little more specific with the details. The problem with a 100k, for me, is that you really need to get jiggy from the start. There is no room for a nice relaxed 6-12 mile loop before you start picking it up. As I have mentioned, I am not a fast starter. I like to take my time, chat with people, get really warmed up, get my breathing regulated and then start focusing on the race. We are only using Ruth Anderson as a tune-up for KM100, but still, I have no clue how to run it. I ran two fifty-milers before I ran my first 100 and thought they were much harder than the 100s/24 hour races. Not a good sign for a 100k :),

With all of this confusion, I am trying to pay attention to how other people race 50s and 100ks. Most seem to be able to start at a certain pace and then maintain it (or close to it) for the entire race. To me, that is amazing! How do you they get into a groove so quickly? And then stay there? I know speed work would help (ick), so I have promised that I will incorporate some (soon). Wearing a watch might be helpful, too. Whenever I know my pace it's because someone tells me, "Hey, we're at 8:03 (or whatever)." I do own a Garmin, and I have it charging, so I will start wearing it more regularly. At the moment, most of the tempo/pace work I do is by feel. I start slowly, then when it is called for, pick it up for the amount of time scheduled in the workout. If I start to get that sick (I'm going to hurl) sort of feeling, I know I'm going too fast. If the walkers start to pass me, I know I'm going too slow. Okay, it is a little more scientific than that, but you get my drift. But, since I would like to have some target times for the race, I know I better see exactly where I am. Sigh.

We have rented "Vitus" to watch after dinner. It is a movie about a young musical prodigy. According to the cover, it won several awards at the various film festivals. I love movies (and books) about people doing really cool things - especially things I could never do in a million years. I have absolutely no musical talent, so I find it fascinating to watch people who just...hear it, play it, create it. I'm in awe. I'll let y'all know if the movie is any good. Oh, and remember how I mentioned "Mountain Madness," the story about the Everest guide, Scott Fischer, who died on an expedition in 1996? It is really good. The author was a friend of Scott's, so he has taken the time to give us a lot of insight into what made Scott tick. It's not just one of those sensationalist books that gives a million gory details about the accident. You really get to know the man and what made him who he was. I'm really enjoying it.

Happy training!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Sunday

Since I don't really like football (although that Tom Brady...yum!), I thought it would be a nice time to post. Living with three males has left me with a full afternoon to myself because they can't seem to pry themselves away from the television - and they want Wienerschnitzel for dinner (ick!) - go figure! I just bought "Mountain Madness - Scott Fischer, Mount Everest & a Life Lived on High," by Robert Birkby, so after making the hot dog run for the guys, I plan to take a hot bath and read in bed. The best kind of evening.

Yesterday, I did a quick 14 miler with the group and then pilates. We had a full day of stuff to do, so I needed to be done fairly early. This morning, I met Luis and Kiko at 6 am for a quick 6 mile warm-up before we picked up the rest of the group. Along the way, we met up with our "speedsters" - Angie, Kevin, Larissa, and Erika - who are all training for Boston. This is our potential sub-3 hour marathon group. When we saw them heading our way, we decided it was in our best interest to go ahead and start because we knew they would catch us quickly. They were only doing 10, so that meant they were going to do it really fast. As we have all learned the hard way, if you run your first few miles with them, you will suffer for the rest of the run!

At 7:00 we were joined by Salvador, Nathan, Tony, and Joaquin. This loop, we decided to get on dirt, so we headed for the canals which end up at the river. The run had risen, raising the temps to mid 40s, so it turned into a beautiful morning. Because El Paso has mountains and a lush valley on the Rio Grande, we get to see a wide variety of topography while we run. We started facing the mountains, watching the sunrise from the east, red and gold, spent the middle section on the river, watching the ducks, egrets, and cranes swimming, then ended the run on the canals, stopping to eat pecans from an orchard. We parked next to a Catholic church, so we got to hear the bells peal on the hour when we looped back around to pick people up. Do you ever have runs that just seem magical? Well, this was one of those runs. You just want to say, "Thank you."

We ended up with just over 26 miles, happy and feeling good about life. When I got home, my crew was waiting for me to head over to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Ramon's, for Huevos Rancheros. I took a quick shower, put my hair in a baseball cap, and we headed out. Clearly, everyone was starving, because we all managed to clean our plates! Yum! Ramon's is in the shopping center where all the local cyclists meet on Sunday, so it was fun to watch them come back in from a long ride. At some point, I would love to learn how to cycle so that I could try a triathlon, but I am such a chicken! We don't have any bike lanes here, so you are taking your life in your own hands every time you ride unless you ride on dirt, like at the river. Anyway, something to anticipate for the future.

I hope everyone has had a great week!